Pressure builds on Al-Omair – MP urges resignation

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 8: Minister of Oil and State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Ali Al- Omair has been under fire from MPs, especially among those planning to grill him on the alleged financial and administrative violations in the oil sector and Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR).

MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan alleged the minister is hiding the names of politicians who own agricultural plots, warning this behavior will only deepen the injury caused by his interpellation. In response to the questions he presented to the minister, he was provided with the list of those who received and relinquished their farmlands but there are other lists which include only those who received farming plots without mentioning those who relinquished these plots.

He pointed out this raises questions as there seems to be somebody who wants to protect the politicians. He said among those who possess farmlands is a former MP, adding the agricultural land possession issue in PAAAFR is second to the multi-million deposit case.

MP Khaleel Al-Saleh stressed the wheels are accelerating towards the interpellation of the minister, considering more and more suspicions are being raised but no answer is being given. He said the minister decided to postpone the construction of the fourth refinery after meeting with the concerned parliamentary committee despite the recommendation to establish it immediately.

He wondered why the minister rescinded his decision, considering he gave the green light to float the tender earlier this month. He stressed this situation shrouds the minister with more suspicions and it is up to the people to judge during the interpellation. He went on to assert his belief that the minister failed to manage the country’s biggest ministry and hindered its progress. He urged the minister to submit his resignation as there is no way to avoid the interpellation against him.

Furthermore, Al-Omair was seen leaving the National Assembly building after meeting with Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim. Due to the barrage of criticisms against him, the press was eager to learn about the contents of the meeting, but the minister merely said, “Nothing.” Meanwhile, the Legal and Legislative Committee held its third meeting which was presided over by MP Mubarak Al-Harees with the attendance of Minister of Justice, Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Yacoub Al-Sanei. They discussed four items in the committee’s agenda but further talks on three of them were postponed and one was referred to the Education Committee.

Rapporteur of the Legal and Legislative Committee MP Ahmed Al- Qudaibi confirmed that deliberations on the amendment bill to the provisions of Criminal Procedure Law were postponed until the next meeting for further study and for the government to present its amendments next week. He said the bill on adding a new article to the Industry Law and the Public Authority for Industry Law was also postponed until the next meeting. He added the bill to amend the first article of the Compulsory Education Law was referred to the Education Committee; while the proposal to add a new article on monetary, Central Bank of Kuwait and the banking profession was postponed for further study from a constitutional standpoint. On the other hand, the Handicapped Committee on Sunday met members of non-profit organizations concerned with the disabled.

Committee Rapporteur MP Mohammed Al-Barrak disclosed they listened to the comments of the specialists among those who attended the meeting, indicating they demanded for amendment of some articles of the Disability Law and activation of some other articles. He said several suggestions were presented during the meeting such as granting educational and financial benefits to the handicapped. He affirmed the committee will discuss all proposals, adding the report on the proposed amendment of the Disability Law will be discussed in the next parliamentary session.

Moreover, Human Resources Development Committee Rapporteur MP Ouda Al-Ruwaiee revealed the committee has laid down its work mechanism and identified its priorities for the current term, including the strategic alternative project and appointment to leadership positions. He said there are differences in the interpretation of the concept of strategic alternative; hence, the need for a public awareness campaign to clarify the concept. He explained that strategic alternative does not mean salary scale only as it includes professional development for the staff, evaluation system, penalties and others. He hopes for approval of the strategic alternative within the current term, “especially since we have given an invitation to the minister of finance and Advisory Team to discuss it.” He also called for finding the best way to approve the proposal on the appointment to leadership positions because some officials are against it.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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